|System: Wii||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Data Design Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Destineer||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Feb. 17, 2009||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1-2||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Battle Rage features some of the most rudimentary excuses for graphics weve seen in a current-generation game. Theres no detail or texture to anything, the visuals dont run smoothly, and the character models arent impressive in any way. It looks okay if you pretend its a Nintendo 64 game, though.
Fortunately, no one spent too much time coming up with extra features to pile on to this heap of garbage. The screens leading to each fight have some awful text dialogue that scrolls at a snails pace. The single-player Arcade mode is a simple succession of matches, in which you can unlock some extra characters and customize your bots (the tradeoff is between armor, speed, and power). Multiplayer-wise, theres co-op, in which you control two separate mechas on a split-screen, as well as a basic Vs. mode. Neither of these options is any better than the single-player game, and Vs. is basically just a competition to aim your pointer at the other robot the fastest (and keep moving if you can), but at least you and your human collaborator/opponent can commiserate.
Theres also a story here, presented through some very poorly written text that scrolls past when you first start up the disc. Heres our best stab at what that gibberish means: Its the 22nd Century, and humans have begun colonizing space. Because of some technology-based mass tragedy that leaves civilization in ruins (we wont try to guess exactly what happened, but it seems to have been called the New Hope Incident), the Colonization Era begins to draw to a close. For entertainment, people grab hold of Shells (mechas) and fight each other for TV cameras. Those fights, of course, are the focus of the game.
It would be nice to have a decent third-person shooter on Wii, but Battle Rage isnt even close to being that shooter. Thats a little disappointing, but hardly surprising for a console whose non-Nintendo offerings have been, with very few exceptions, embarrassing. Fans of shooting, beat-em-up action, and mecha fights will have to turn elsewhere for their fix. If theres a moral to the story, its this: budget developers should stick to budget genres, like arcade shooting and side-scrolling platforming, and leave the expensive genres to the big-budget studios.
CCC Freelance Writer